This first week saw us walk through Larrasoana (we were luckily warned to avoid the municipal albergue here; we heard some horror stories at the next town from those not so lucky!), Pamplona, over the top of the alto de perdon, through Puente la Reina to Ayegui then onto Logrono which turned out to be one of my favourite places on the walk. Not least because we cheated and stayed in a hotel (can you all say BATHTUB! woohoo!). The stay in the hotel coincided with my feet going on strike via multiple blisters and horrible plantar fasciitis, so it was perfect timing.

In honour of ANZAC day we carried a small bottle of Bundy from home so we could have a gunfire brekkie before we set off from Roncesvalles on day 3. Why on earth we didn’t think of cracking it open when at the top of the bloody freezing cold mountain the day before I have no idea!

We were caught in a LOT of rain the first week. A LOT.
Our magic ponchos kept us dry and warm, which was great as one of the hardest things as a pilgrim is to keep your clothes dry. Clothes dryers are not common in the albergues, and if they are there they will cost a fortune and have a line of a fellow soggy pilgrims before you! Sometimes we were daredevils and didn’t wash our clothes from that day until the next night, taking our chances that there would be a dryer waiting to dry ALL our clothes for us (we only carried one change of clothes). Living life on the edge πŸ˜‰

Along with the rain there was some magical scenery, and a little bit of sunshine to keep us going!
Other highlights included the 12th century octagonal knights templar church, and the wine fountain! That’s right – a fountain that pours wine out for free for the weary pilgrim. Unfortunately Murphy and his damn laws intervened and it wasn’t working when we were there πŸ™ We’ll just have to go back!! πŸ™‚

 

 

Share to FacebookPin Site ImageTweet This Post

September 29 2012 – Jenny & Stuart got married!

I did not stop smiling at Jen & Stu’s wedding. Jenny didn’t stop laughing. Stuart didn’t stop laughing with Jenny nor tear his eyes off her.

And then when it came to producing their slideshow, I did not stop crying. Music + photos – gets me every time. But this time I did something a little extra for their slideshow, so there were extra tears! Every time I watch it.

I’ll post some of the images from the slideshow soon, but for now, I think this says everything.

Turn up your speakers (& get some tissues) πŸ™‚ xx

Jenny & Stuart Got Married! from Rebecca Mercia on Vimeo.

Music from The Music Bed
Song: Your First Light My Eventide
Artist: The Echelon Effect

 

Share to FacebookPin Site ImageTweet This Post

Hooray! We have successfully survived another winter and come out the other side into a glorious spring. Β Although “survived” is a tad melodramatic given I live in Perth Β – where most people don’t even own a real winter jacket and the only gloves necessary are the ones for gardening or bike riding.

Nevertheless this year I took “spring cleaning” to a whole new level by heading down to Dunsborough for a weekend retreat of Yoga and Raw Food at Samudra.

Samudra is an absolutely amazing place. I can’t believe it has been there 10 years and this is the first time I have been there. Kicking myself, but I will be making up for it with regular visits. In fact if they had need for a resident photographer I would be moving, stat.

The gorgeous Lisa, Erin, Mike, Ben & team took care of US (yes, I convinced the husband to join me!) through a brilliant 2.5 days full of the most delicious food you can imagine (and it was all healthy!!), mornings of ashtanga yoga, yoga nidra in our evenings, guided pranayama and informative talks on food, sprouting, and gardening. I even joined Lisa on a bush walk and braved the very *fresh* (ie BRRRR!) Dunsborough water for a swim.

Pop in if you are in the area for a divine green smoothie from their cafe (which has a Kombi van in it!), or head down and make a weekend of it at one of their retreats. I have the ayurveda weekend in my sights. And if I can get the jaws theme out of my head I might even try the yoga & surf retreat… maybe…
PLUS you can hire Samudra for your wedding! You need to call me if you do πŸ™‚

It was absolutely perfect timing for me to exhale…. before gearing up ready for an exciting wedding season ahead.

Thank you Samudra! You’ll see me again soon πŸ™‚ xx

 

Share to FacebookPin Site ImageTweet This Post

I’ve known Katie since before I was born. Honestly.

Our parents grew up together, as did Katie and I (and our siblings), so I’ve known her since before I can remember πŸ™‚

Katie and Gregg have had a trans-Pacific romance for a few years, as Gregg is from the USA. Gregg is one of the few people walking around Perth who can point to Ithaca (where I did my undergrad at Cornell) on a map as he hails from freezing bloody cold beautiful upstate New York. They lived together in LA, but have now decided that Perth is home. (yay!)

So while I am very happy to have them closer so I can see them more often, I am a bit sad that I have lost my LA connection. I will be forever indebted to them for introducing me to “The Griddle” and knowing all the best Mexican restaurants!

Here are some engagement portraits I took in the Cottesloe Civic Centre gardens one gorgeous sunny (but a bit chilly) afternoon.Β  All my wedding couples have engagement portrait sessions included in their packages. For most of us, our wedding photos are the first time we have professional photographs taken together, so an engagement portrait is a really nice way to capture and remember the fun time of anticipation before the “big” day πŸ™‚ It’s also a way for myself and my couples to get to know each other before the wedding – we spend a LOT of hours together on the wedding day, so it’s nice to not be strangers.

Can’t wait until your wedding Katie & Gregg, and thank you for having me as a part of it! xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share to FacebookPin Site ImageTweet This Post

It’s time for some more Camino de Santiago!

Here are some answers to some more FAQ’s I’ve been getting about the Camino.

5) How far did you walk each day?
Between 20 -30km usually, although there were a few days over and I think one lazy day under πŸ™‚

6) Did your feet hurt? Did you get blisters?
YES. Yes they did, thanks to plantar fasciitis. ow ow ow. And YES I got blisters! I am now the blister healing queen – if you want to know what to do with blisters email me – it’s a bit yuck to post here!

7)Β  What did you do all afternoon?
We finished walking generally around 2-3pm. Once you find some lunch, shower, wash your clothes, & take care of your feet there is surprisingly little time left before dinner! Siestas were amazing when I could have them (I am a restless sleeper at the best of times, so sleeping in a room with up to 50 snorers was challenging!), but otherwise there was lots of chatting over cervesas and vino tinto with newly made peregrino friends.

Pamplona! The city of the running of the bulls. We actually stopped in Pamplona before starting the camino. We took at train from Barcelona to Pamplona, stayed overnight then caught a little bus to St Jean Pied de Port. We walked back through Pamplona a few days into the camino, but because we had spent some time there before we kept on walking to Cizur Menor for the night. Pamplona is a gorgeous town set behind some giant walls with winding cobblestone streets throughout. These photos are pre-camino πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share to FacebookPin Site ImageTweet This Post